WASHINGTON — President Trump on Saturday resumed his 3,675-mile feud with the mayor of London, calling him “a disaster” who should be turned out of office after a spate of stabbings in Britain’s capital.
“LONDON needs a new mayor ASAP,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to Sadiq Khan, the mayor he has been fighting with from a distance for three years. “Khan is a disaster – will only get worse!”
The president offered his harsh view while reposting a tweet on crime over the past day written by Katie Hopkins, a conservative commentator who referred to “20 hours in Stab-City,” in which four stabbings and a shooting resulted in three deaths. “This is Khan’s Londonistan,” Ms. Hopkins added, using a disparaging term referring to the city’s Muslim population. Mr. Khan is Britain’s first Muslim mayor.
The president weighed in while visiting his golf club in Virginia. Five hours later, after returning to the White House, Mr. Trump posted a follow-up attack on Mr. Khan. “He is a national disgrace who is destroying the City of London!” the president wrote.
It is highly unusual for an American president to offer his views uninvited on the internal affairs of an ally, much less call for the ouster of a democratically elected official in another country. It is, however, not at all unusual for Mr. Trump, who has made a practice of telling foreign leaders how they should govern.
Mr. Trump has waged a particularly nasty war of words with Mr. Khan dating to 2016, when the mayor criticized him for proposing a ban on all Muslim visitors to the United States. It flared most recently when Mr. Trump visited Britain this month.
Just before the president’s arrival, Mr. Khan said Mr. Trump’s values were “the complete opposite of London’s values and the values in the country.” Mr. Trump responded by calling Mr. Khan a “stone cold loser” who “has done a terrible job as Mayor of London.”
London has had a string of knife attacks lately. Two teenagers were killed in separate attacks — one of them a shooting — just 12 minutes apart on Friday afternoon and a third man died on Saturday after a stabbing, while three others were stabbed and wounded in two other episodes, according to British news media. At least 14 people were arrested, British news media reported.
Unlike in the United States, gun violence is relatively rare in Britain, which has tough firearm restrictions. But crimes involving knives or sharp instruments have jumped by 33 percent since the year ending in March 2011. Britain had 44,443 incidents involving knives last year compared with 6,525 involving guns.
“I am sickened to hear that two young lives have been ended within minutes of each other in Wandsworth & Greenwich,” Mr. Khan wrote on Twitter on Friday. “Anybody who has information about what happened should do the right thing and call the police.”
While the mayor’s Twitter account ignored Mr. Trump’s attack, other British officials fired back on his behalf on Saturday.
“Absolutely awful to see @realDonaldTrump using the tragedy of people being murdered to attack the Mayor,” Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, wrote on Twitter. “@SadiqKhan is rightly supporting the police to do their job while Katie Hopkins spreads hateful and divisive rhetoric. They seek to divide at a time we need to come together.”
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